Kiribati - Domestic policy



Since Kiribati is a young nation-state, Tito believes in the importance of nation building. The development of Kiribati's economy is the most important domestic policy issue. National integration is also an important aspect of Tito's nation building. In the past, Kiribati's economy and government suffered from a lack of self-sufficiency because of its limited size and resources. In 1999, Tito made a plea to the international community for aid in coping with a serious drought. Foreign aid has always been a major component of the government's budget. Furthermore, Kiribati has a long history of protracted trade deficits, which must be covered by foreign aid. Tito's long-term strategy is to develop the economy by focusing on tourism and fishing.

Tourism is one area that Tito believes could provide foreign earnings to improve the living standards of the IKiribati. In 1999, Kiribati spent heavily to promote its islands as millennium tourist destinations, renaming one Caroline Island Millennium Island, and claiming that it would be the first place on earth to see the 21st century. Besides tourism, Tito seeks to attract foreign investment into commercial fishing. Tito has proposed the construction of more international airports to improve on the accessibility of the many islands. The upgrading of ports and shipyards so that exports and imports can be managed more efficiently is also on his policy agenda.

Tarawa, where the capital is located, is suffering from an expanding population and urbanization. To alleviate this problem, he has suggested the construction of additional roads. Kiribati is increasingly threatened by water shortages and waste pollution as the population grows. In addition, the country has lost two islands due to rising sea levels and reports that whole villages had to be moved inland from coastal regions. Tito must balance the need for economic development and concern for the fragile ecosystem of the region. A month after taking office, Tito established two new ministries to manage these problems: the Ministry of Environment and Social Development and the Ministry of Communications, Industry, and Tourism.

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